Blaydon: our rides and what purpose they serve

At Blaydon Cycle Club we have three ‘levels’  all will be explained, what they are, what they are for, who they are for and why we run them.

This post has been commissioned as we have a considerable amount of new members, and a few questions have been asked and we want to make sure that everyone understands how we operate and how we are trying our very best to be as inclusive as possible. We understand a lot of our social media traffic might sound like everyone’s wanting to go around winning Le Tour but that’s more than likely isn’t the case (but we can dream, right?)

The three rides are graded as follows:

  • ‘Easy Wheelers’ rides
  • Development Rides
  • Club Rides

‘Easy Wheelers rides’ Occasionally when time allows we operate an ‘Easy Wheelers’ ride, these are open to all. but the focus is on new riders, those ‘fresh out the box’ these rides are shorter (10-15 miles) and are there for any new riders, or those new to riding in groups simply to get used to cycling on the roads (we pick quiet roads for these rides) and riding in groups. everyone is welcome to these but you must remember if you are experienced already these rides are exclusively for the newer riders to learn new skills and gain confidence, more able riders should be prepared to help others and be fully aware the ride will be geared for the new riders.

Development Rides Dev Rides are our middle tier of rides, generally they are every second week and run any time from 9am to 10am start. They usually run a length of 30-40 miles and are planned with a route that is not too challenging. Being Northumberland a few lumps and bumps are inevitable but these are kept to a minimum and around the top we will regroup. These rides are in essence for development and improvement, right from how to climb, corner, even eat and drink on the go. We want people to develop their skills, teach others, learn from others, the rides name is pretty self encompassing when we label it! Blaydon Jerseys will always be on hand and your ‘ride leaders’ will be pointed out at the start, these are your port of call if you have ANY issues on the ride be they mechanical or physical. We also think these are a great ride for your first ride if you have never been out in a club,you get to ride in a group, and meet many of our regulars. The intention is development rides are there to prepare you for and work your way to club rides as your confidence and skill sets grow.

 

Club rides perhaps the most confusing of late. We have operated a few ‘big’ club runs of late, more notoriously our recent ‘Hilly Fondo’ has caused some panic within the club. We want to reaffirm that challenging rides such as a ‘Fondo’ happen occasionally as we do have a very diverse group of riders. Club rides are not there just for the fast, the racers, they are all inclusive as is any ride. As you can imagine with 20-30 people on a ride it is hard to put a maximum speed or time limit out there and have such a large group out in one go. What generally happens now on the club rides is a ‘breakaway‘ group forms which contains a small group of riders who are capable of 16-18mph averages, behind those is the main group these generally are 13-15mph average depending on the terrain and course, if the group was even larger there is a chance of having a 3rd group.

Having mixed abilities is a hard balance to strike within cycling, and it can be hard to plan for from our end, and its with your continued support that allows us to facilitate the group rides. Quite simply put we need members of all abilities to make the rides a success. In no way are club rides designed for the ‘fast lads’ (as they get called) they are inclusive for everyone.

If you have concerns over   a particular route please raise them on the event page or direct message the club page (or email us) we will do our very best to help everyone, and make any adjustments or reassurance to anyone who needs it. Some club rides are challenging, some will be easier, we just want to strike a fair balance to all of our members and offer a bit of everything, all feedback of late has been noted, we really do need that feedback if we are going to be able to try and help everyone. The support can be and will be out there for all.

if you have ANY questions please to sign in with one of your social media accounts below and post a comment and we will do our very best to answer your questions. It’s with everyone’s great support the club is where it is. and it’s with this continued support and occasional feedback that we can plan for the future.

Thanks for reading this, and if you have any questions regarding how we grade and deliver our rides again, please do comment below (on this page as opposed to on twitter or facebook itself please) any feedback is appreciated and this is a great open forum to facilitate this.